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Archive for November, 2012

Tokyo’s Skytree

By Linda Tancs

The world record books show no shortage of tallest skywalks.  Add another to the list.  Tokyo’s Skytree is the world’s tallest freestanding broadcasting tower, a white neo-futuristic space needle piercing 634 meters into the sky.  Its Tembo Deck at 350 meters is covered in huge five-meter-high glass for a 360-degree view up to 70 kilometers away.  From there, a ride in a glass tube to the Tembo Galleria at 450 meters completes the skywalking experience.

England’s Oldest Inn

By Linda Tancs

Billing itself “The Oldest Inn in England,” Nottingham’s Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem boasts a landmark building dating to 1189 AD. The story goes that crusaders to the Holy Land really did stop there for some respite–and maybe a cuppa.  Affectionately known as The Trip, the pub is built upon a series of caves connected to Nottingham Castle and features such curiosities as the Haunted Snug, the Cursed Galleon, and the Fertility Chair.

A Gem of a Deal in India

By Linda Tancs

Maharajas from all over India commissioned the proprietors of Gem Palace in
Jaipur to make jewelry and other precious objects.  Now over 150 years’ strong, India’s version of Harry Winston puts a contemporary flair on traditional Indian design.  Their creations have been exhibited twice at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Too rich for you?  You be the judge.

Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland

By Linda Tancs

Are you ready for some Christmas cheer?  If so, then head to London’s Hyde Park for the annual Winter Wonderland.  You’ll feel the arctic chill at the Ice Kingdom, set at -8° celsius.  There are also ice skating sessions (one hour long), two circus shows (Zippos and Cirque Berserk) and a giant ferris wheel to wow the kids.  You can even get some holiday shopping in; over 100 stalls await you.  A new Yuletide Market is at the west end of the park, too.  This spectacular destination will be open until 6 January from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (except for Christmas Day).  You can get there via Hyde Park Corner, Green Park, Knightsbridge or Marble Arch.  Admission to the park is free, but you must have tickets for ice skating, the circus and the ferris wheel.   Book early!

A Free Guide on the Freedom Trail

By Linda Tancs

Considered the oldest public park in the U.S., Boston Common is the starting point of the Freedom Trail in Boston, Massachusetts.  From there you can pick up a map of this 2.5 mile walking trail highlighting 16 historic landmarks, such as the site of the Boston Massacre, Faneuil Hall, Old North Church and the Bunker Hill Monument.  If self-guided tours aren’t for you, don’t fret.  You can pick up a free guided tour of the trail by a National Park Service ranger at Faneuil Hall.

On the Water’s Edge

By Linda Tancs

Havre de Grace, Maryland bills itself as unique on the Chesapeake.  Just five minutes off I-95 between Baltimore, Maryland and Wilmington, Delaware, the little city by the bay offers a plethora of things to do.  Why not take a stroll along the boardwalk, where the Susquehanna River meets the Chesapeake Bay.  Or check out the Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy system, a system of buoys placed along portions of the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail, developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  The region is rich in maritime heritage.  Visit the lock house museum for the story of the Susquehanna and Tidewater Canal or take in a lecture at the maritime museum.  You can even visit a museum dedicated to decoy carving, or take an educational excursion aboard the Skipjack Martha Lewis, one of the last remaining working dredge boats comprising the Chesapeake Bay oyster fleet.

Boston’s Oldest Light

By Linda Tancs

For an unforgettable view of Boston Harbor, visit Boston’s oldest lighthouse–also the oldest and first one in the U.S.–at Little Brewster Island.  This is the last lighthouse to retain a U.S. Coast Guard keeper.  The historic Fresnel lens is worth the climb up 76 steps and two ladders.  You’re sure to find a tour illuminating.

The Tiniest Drawbridge in the World

By Linda Tancs

Two half spans separated by a 22-inch-wide plank.  That’s reputedly the smallest drawbridge in the world.  Located in Sandys Parish in Bermuda, the Somerset Bridge is a charming little attraction.  You can follow it to the railroad trail, the remains of the old Bermuda railway system that existed between 1931 and 1948.

St. Tropez of Uruguay

By Linda Tancs

Punta del Este is regarded as the St. Tropez of Uruguay.  Less than two hours from Montevideo, the tiny peninsula offers enough glitz and glamor to rival its French counterpart.  Twenty miles of pristine beaches, resorts, condos and nightlife attract the jetset and, during the fast-approaching high season (December to March), there are fashion shows, a film festival, a jazz festival, rodeos and regattas to attend.  If you prefer quiet enjoyment of the surf and sand, then take in a natural tour by biking, horseback riding or bird watching in the cooler months, April through November.

Dive in at Stoney Cove

By Linda Tancs

England’s Leicestershire might not strike you as the underwater diving capital of the country, but its dive school at Stoney Cove National Diving Centre in Leicester boasts modern classrooms and a heated indoor pool. Enthusiasts should make haste to see the Elizabethan shipwreck, the latest underwater attraction recently transported there to complement their assorted collection of boats and planes.

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